AEMP has been talking about performance metrics and the development of consistent standards for many years, beginning in 2005 when Gregory Kittle was the president and CEO of the AEMP Board of Directors.
More recently, the association’s member companies and partners have begun placing more importance on establishing benchmarks. The cause is most likely their own advancement; as construction companies have become more sophisticated, their leaders have gained a better understanding of how performance evaluations can impact every decision.
In the spring of 2012, the Board created the AEMP Metrics Initiative Task Force and appointed several members to it. The group’s co-chairs are Kittle and Greg Peet, who is president of Heavy Equipment Services in Freeport, Illinois. Members of the Task Force—all volunteers—represent end users, heavy equipment manufacturers, and third-party software providers that develop metric-tracking programs.
The group’s first order of business was to begin breaking down the challenge and organizing information in a way that will allow AEMP to attack it systematically. The members honed in on six high-level categories of performance measures: finance, equipment operations; repairs and maintenance; estimating and project management; logistics; and safety. With those broad “buckets” established, the next step has been to gather information from companies about the metrics they use now.
AEMP developed and distributed a Fleet Metrics Survey in early 2013 and 90 AEMP member companies and organizations provided information regarding the metrics they employ in those five key areas. Companies that responded are engaged in everything from public service to utilities to infrastructure development; their annual sales volumes were from $50 million to more than $1 billion. Those that responded are based across the United States, in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The average fleet size of those companies and organizations is 2,145 machines.
With the results of that initial survey in hand, the Task Force convened a workshop during the AEMP Management Conference and Annual Meeting in March 2013 to gather more information. The next steps are to gather additional input, organize all the information, and evaluate it. The Task Force will identify the most commonly used metrics in each bucket, and form working groups to develop them further.
From there, AEMP either will form an official body to move forward with the initiative or partner with another organization that has experience in creating metrics and standards and can assist with the proper procedures.
Whatever the eventual makeup of the entity or partnership winds up being, it will proceed with metrics formula development and implementation, then move to more comprehensive industry standards. The difference between the two is an important distinction. While a metric can be an evolving and changing measure based on what a specific company needs, a standard is an agreed-upon process that tells the asset manager precisely what data to collect, how to collect it, and the output that is going to result.
ON THE SAME PAGE
A basic level of consensus is necessary to effective problem solving. That’s not to say everyone needs to concur on the best way to do something. However, they do need to agree on what the challenges and objectives are and generally how to address them. When everyone is speaking the same language and moving forward together, the result is real, measurable progress.
At the same time, AEMP recognizes it has a duty to train equipment managers on how to develop and utilize metrics, whether they be industry standardized or custom metrics specific to an individual company.
That’s what the AEMP Metrics Initiative is all about. Everything is being done by the book at every stage because, when we reach the point where the first standards can be issued, we want them to have stature similar to those issued by respected organizations, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
As time passes, standards will be refined when their applicability is challenged by factors such as newly automated manufacturing processes, new or revised government regulations, and new designs, innovations, and technologies. In addition, AEMP will expand and add standards as its members and others in their industries identify needs.
As always, AEMP will provide the information and education our members need to develop their own metrics, to benchmark against the new industry standards, and to maximize potential for their companies. ■
About The Author:
Stan Orr has been the president and chief strategy officer at the Association for Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP), an international organization based in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, for 14 years. AEMP provides education information and networking opportunities for companies that use heavy equipment and the professionals who manage it. For more information, visit www.AEMP.org.
Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2013
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